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Thread: 2x10 vs 1x10

  1. #1
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    2x10 vs 1x10

    OK, I surfed around for some thread on it, but I don't see anything (without going way back in time) comparing 2x10 to 1x10. I am considering changing things around. I am a fit XC rider who rides in the mountains of northern NM. I ride a Trek SF100 (carbon). It is an '11 bike that came with a triple. I never use the big ring and as the year has progressed and I have gotten a lot stronger I am almost never riding the little ring either. I think I might be a good candidate for the 1x10 set up. (The new XX1 looks interesting, but it is going to cost too much and a ton to maintain as well.) I was thinking of either a XX or X0 crankset with 34T (this is the middle on the triple) or maybe 32T front with a 1050 11-36 cassette (that is what I have now.) I will need a chain guide, maybe a e.thirteen? But that would be about it, I think. I don't think I will have any issues with the chain line with this set up. Any thoughts on it or opinions on the 2x10 vs 1x10 set up?

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    Sounds like you have answered your own questions.
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  3. #3
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    Well, I'm a very fit CC rider as well, similar story, never use big or little chain ring. This was on my 26'er. I have a local ride that I have been able to get down to just the middle chain ring, 34 tooth with 11-34 9 speed in the rear.

    I got a RIP 9 about three weeks ago and was contemplating going with the 1x10 setup. I opted for the 2x10 for a few reasons:

    1. Although I can ride my go-to local trail in one chain ring, there are many other trails I like to ride that aren't quite as easy.
    2. The 2x10 is way more versatile.
    3. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, including myself. Having the ability, even if I rarely use it, is nice. I ride to have fun, not to race or set time trials.

    Turns out to be a good decision on my part, as the wheels on a 29 change the gearing quite a bit. I now have 22/36 front with 10 speed 11-36 in back. The are section on my favorite local ride where I'll throw it in the little ring up front and it's ideal, other sections the big ring works. Feels great and it's keeping me content for the time being. There's no way I'd want to hit a multi-mile climb with just one chain ring.

    Your trails may be a different story, but that's mine, good luck

  4. #4
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    I had been looking at going 1x10 on my next XC race bike after a year of 2x10(11-36 cassette). I just picked up a BMC TE29 frame that I'll be building up this off season for next year. Last year was my first year racing, and I just got my upgrade to a CAT1 after winning 4 straight races at CAT2. The decision to go 1x10 was solidified during my last race(Tahoe Flume Trail Race) two weeks ago. My front shifter snapped 2.5 miles into the race(20 mile race) and left me in my small chainring(26t) for the entire race. The course had a good mix of flat and also some big climbs. I lot a lot of time on the flats cause I was spinning out, and also because the front derailleur was constantly grinding on the chain when I used the three lowest gears on the cassette. The climbs were unaffected, luckily as I was in the smaller chainring rather than the large. So, after racing(not by choice) on a 1x10 setup and still pulling out a victory, I have no doubts that I'm a good candidate for the swap. I'm going to start with a 32t up front, and might buy an additional 30t for the more vertical courses...

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    I'm a fan of 1x* setups. Simplifies things, weighs less, etc. The way I figure it is, if people can ride singlespeed, I should be just fine with a single up front and some choices out back. I've been running a 1x9 for about 3 years, and have been running a 36T up front and an 11-32 out back. Haven't hit a climb I couldn't make yet, though sometimes sitting and spinning isn't an option.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino View Post
    I'm a fan of 1x* setups. Simplifies things, weighs less, etc. The way I figure it is, if people can ride singlespeed, I should be just fine with a single up front and some choices out back. I've been running a 1x9 for about 3 years, and have been running a 36T up front and an 11-32 out back. Haven't hit a climb I couldn't make yet, though sometimes sitting and spinning isn't an option.
    I agree, if you like spinning this might not be the setup for you.
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  7. #7
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    I used to sit and spin a lot on my 3x9 setup which I later converted to 2x9 on my RIP9. My new hardtail I built up 1x10 from the get-go. First few rides took some getting used to - a lot more standing, lower cadences, etc. Nothing to put strain on the knees or anything, but just mentally a different approach. After adjusting it's fine, and I don't have any problems. I agree 100% with jcaino - people ride SS up a lot of the steepest climbs in my area, so having 10 gears is relatively easier.

    My setup is XT and runs like a dream. I went with the MRP chainguide (BB mount version) which was easy to set up, just a little custom mods like filing down some of the plastic bits and bending it a little which is always going to be the case with any chainguide I think, and it runs smoothly and doesn't grind or make noise in any of my 10 gears.

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    I'm not too fit and racing Novice (Cat3) class this year and was debating "upgrade" to 2x10 on my hardtail. Most of the trails in Chicago area don't have too many climbs and I found that I was perfectly fine staying just in middle 32t ring and on certain trails I would even be able to ride the whole thing in the big 44t with chain cross. The chain cross obviously wasn't desirable so I decided to bite the bullet and go 1x10 with 36t. I also purchased a 34t just in case I need some more "climbing" gears.
    Been riding this for 2 months now and so far i'm happy.

  9. #9
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    I'm gonna go with a 1x10 on my 9zero7 fat bike. 32t chainring with 11-36 cassette. I found that I spend most of my time in the middle ring of my triple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    It is an '11 bike that came with a triple. I never use the big ring and as the year has progressed and I have gotten a lot stronger I am almost never riding the little ring either.

    you answered your own question there my friend....

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    Tempting as a single speed is, I am a bit worried about the long-term stress on my knees from hammering up everything in one gear alone. That is why a 2x10 (26/38 on a 180) is good. (Like I said above, I don't need a triple for top end speed.) But the 1x10 seems even better: kind of like 10 single speeds! I think I am going to go for a 34 front on a 180 X0 carbon crankset with a Truvativ guard (I will need to switch out my BB also) and a 11-36 1050 cassette. Most of our rides here are big climbs (some can be 20+ mile uphill with great technical descents where absolute top speed is not that high, a 34-11 combo should be good for that). There are some very steep sections, but they normally are not longer than a couple of hundred yards at a stretch. There I think the 34-36 will be hammer time, out of the saddle cranking away. Good stuff, just the way I like! I'll let you know how the conversion goes and how it rides afterwards.

  12. #12
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    2x10 is more versatile, and if yu live somewhere with a ton of elevation chages may be a better fit. I'm in south jersey and rarely left my middle ring anyway. So I set up my bike 1x10, I've taken it to northern VT and Wissahickon which have tougher climbs than stuff close to me and I was fine.
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    I went 2 x 10 and run a 11x28 in the rear. Tightened everything up, shifts great, makes me work and I like it. Riding the hills around CO Front Range w/o problems. Nice alternative really. Just saying...
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  14. #14
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    I ride a 1x9, 32 front and 11-36 rear. It is a great bike, but I have others to choose from. I live in SE PA and am a pretty fit rider. I spend the majority of my time riding Wissahickon and as pascale27 indiacated, there are some tough climbs there. Nothing super long, a mile is proably the max, but there are some that are really steep.

    The 1x9 gives me a few issues. You need to learn to climb differently. More standing. Sometimes a slower pace than those who are spinning. Also, if you climb in traffic, it makes things a bit tougher.

    The other place I see a difference is in transitions. Our local trails have a lot of ripping downhills that transition into short, punchy climbs. The 2x allows me to drop a ton a gearing with one shift and transition into the hill. The 1x requires more planning.

    Other than that, and in some of the flatter areas around, I love the 1x9. It is a great platform. However, it is nice to have something else to chose from. I brought my 2x9 for tonights ride, but I am feeling a bi beat from the road last night.

  15. #15
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    On your crank choices: XX won't fit a 34T (wrong BCD) X0 would be better. But since you don't care about chainring spacing on a 1x system, you can find the truvativ noir 3.3 for a cheaper price. Its basically the XX crank, but its made to take a triple ring setup, and then you can just put a 34T on there.
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    1xWhatever is awesome if you ride/race the same places and know the gearing you'll need. It blows if you ride on pavement to get to the trails or decide to try a new trail/location.

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    1 X 10 saves weight
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  18. #18
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    My SIR9 (& the Inbred before that) alternate between singlespeed & 1x10 - 36-11.
    I'm firmly in the "get off & push" camp if I'm riding slower than I can walk (or even run on occasion). I'm a fan of the cleaner look, but I much prefer climbing out of the saddle so going 1x10 suited me. A cheap Superstar XCR guide keeps the chain in place, but the Pauls chain keeper looks neater.
    Before going 29er my FS bikes were all 1x9 for many years before that. I just prefer having something to pedal against, rather than spinning away like a hamster.

  19. #19
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    Did a long ride with lots of vertical over the weekend and survived the 1x10 (34/36 low gear) even through the steep stuff. That said, pushing a bigger gear is less efficient and my legs were burned out by the end of the ride. Still liking the 1x10 setup, but I think for rides in the 5+ hour range with lots of climbing I will look to have a 2x10 bike with a 26T ring available.

  20. #20
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    OK, I pulled the trigger on the 2x10 over the 1x10. Living at 7000 feet in northern New Mexico with many big hill climbs (2000-5000 foot vertical over 20+ miles), it just seems a bit more realistic. Maybe in a year or so, I'll revisit the idea of a single up front with the new XX1. But for now, call me 180 XT cranks spinning 26/38 rings over to a 11-36 rear! It will be a good way to finish off the riding season and before the snow dumps (I hope!).

  21. #21
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    LOVE my 1x10 setup. Every bike I get from here on out will be 1x10.

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    nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmaster View Post
    OK, I pulled the trigger on the 2x10 over the 1x10. Living at 7000 feet in northern New Mexico with many big hill climbs (2000-5000 foot vertical over 20+ miles), it just seems a bit more realistic. Maybe in a year or so, I'll revisit the idea of a single up front with the new XX1. But for now, call me 180 XT cranks spinning 26/38 rings over to a 11-36 rear! It will be a good way to finish off the riding season and before the snow dumps (I hope!).
    Given your terrain and the fact you're doing long rides I think you made the right call. You can always try leaving it in the 38 for a long ride and see how you fare! If you're cramming in a lot of trail time before the snow comes and doing long days back-to-back the 26T small ring will be tonic for aching legs on that first long uphill.

  24. #24
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    I built my new bike with a 1x10 setup and I'm loving it.
    XO 175 crankset with MRP chain guide, 32T up front & 11-36 cassette.
    I have over 700 miles it and no problems. I don't think I will ever go back to 2x10.

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  25. #25
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    I use 1x10 for a couple of reasons: 1) to use an e-thirteen chain keeper, which I love (dead silent, never, ever a dropped chain which happens all the time in the rocky NE), and 2) the hills here are tiny. You really never need a granny gear.

    But if I lived in the mountains, no way in hell would I run 1x10, especially for long races.

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    As some people pointed out, you answered yourself. 1x10 seems to be for you. While I also love simplicity of 1x10, I am "forced to ride" 2x10. I like to ride with high frequency with lower power. On top of that I like high mountains with long and steep parts - with 1x10 you just cannot go up 20% slopes for long time....

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    Going out on my 5th ride this AM (downtown Santa Fe to the top of the ski basin, 3 miles paved, otherwise about 25+ miles single track up hill with the reverse coming home) on the 2x10. It is extraordinary. If you had told me how fantastic is would be, I don't think I would have believed you. 26/38 with the 180 crank arms rolling a 11-36 cassette on a '11 Trek Superfly 100 Carbon frame with some different things here and there is a short description of the beast. Good stuff.

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    What do you guys think the best option 2x10 option would be for someone that needs a low granny gear? I have some arthritis in my knees and I prefer to use a granny gear on the 3x9 on a few of the short steep climbs I ride. I'm going to upgrade from a 26er to a 29er over the winter and will be buying a new drivetrain.

  29. #29
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    Personally I can't see ever dropping the granny gear out of the set up even though I try not to use it. However, where I live, there are times you just need it (or at least I do).
    I live in Western NC, so there is a lot of climbing. I do plan on dropping the large chain ring though.

    Just spent the weekend in Savannah Ga though and I was amazed that there was even a derailleur on a bike here. I would definitely only have a single speed if I still lived here.

  30. #30
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    I don't think the weight savings is that significant when you factor in the chain guides that are necessary for a 1x setup. For the steep climbs of Utah and elsewhere in the rocky mountains, a 2x setup is necessary in my opinion. If I lived in a flatter region, I would definitely consider the new XX1 mainly for its simplicity.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    What do you guys think the best option 2x10 option would be for someone that needs a low granny gear? I have some arthritis in my knees and I prefer to use a granny gear on the 3x9 on a few of the short steep climbs I ride. I'm going to upgrade from a 26er to a 29er over the winter and will be buying a new drivetrain.
    Clearly 36/22 - with casette 11-36 it delivers incredible range. I even think that I might go 22/33, when my chairing needs replacement - range of high gears is rarely used.

    I have SRAM XO - works nicely. X9 is nice too. I do notr believe taht Shimano offers this range in standard.

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